We all have those weeks where the boss is bearing down on us, the workload is crushing our sanity and the thought of doing anything after work continually compounds into an eventual, unbearable burst of self-loathing and laziness.
However, when we cannot seem to control most aspects of our lives, we can almost always control one thing: how we eat.
While I’ve gone through weeks cooking every night after work, I’ve also gone through months where I cannot attempt making anything…except a call to the local delivery food chain.
However convenient and wonderful the invention of delivery food is, it adds up.
Cost, calories and my weight used to skyrocket during these periods, causing more stress and self-deprecation. Not only that, Husband and I did some math and found we were spending an average $440.00/month on delivery.
That’s insane. That’s the cost of our first apartment’s monthly rent.
We have since been trying to cut back on delivery orders and finding ways to plan around our inevitable moments of work-week-weakness.
Naturally, our habits began evolving. We went to the grocery every two weeks and had ourselves on a really great roll for a while.
But then the troubling weeks would happen: late work nights, obligations, evening errands, and horrendous traffic would pile up consecutively.
These were the nights we’d succumb to the convenience of delivery food—the habit would begin to snowball all over again. Although we were ordering less frequently at this point, we were still spending quite a pretty penny, which troubled me since we had food in the fridge for which we’d already paid.
Over time, I began realizing the most troubling part about making food during a late night was not in the effort of making it, but instead in the effort deciding what to make. We always ordered the same things from the same place and knew what to expect. It was easy.
With this concept of “knowing” in mind, I decided we needed to start meal planning.
It is such a simple concept, I’m sure some of you are going “Well, duh,” as I realize this is an incredibly first world problem. But this is my culture. This is the world in which I was raised—I know my privileges, blessings, and that I’m not the only one who needs a little guidance on how to defeat our weaknesses.
In such a fast-paced and ever-evolving world, it’s difficult to remember our health needs to be a top-shelf priority
So, we started meal planning—planning for the nights we’d fall victim to quick fix delivery and for the nights we’d want something truly home-cooked. Always looking for new ways to better our lives, I got this meal planner to see if it would help.
Skeptical at first, I wondered if I would use it for the first three days and then quit because it “didn’t feel right.” If you journal, sketch, or are a tedious planner, then you know what I mean. For those of you who don’t know: from computers to journals and scissors to gyro-saws, being picky about tools means comes with being passionate about what you do as a hobby or career.
My skepticism quickly dissipated: the planner gives everything you could possibly need to stay on track, including recipes, motivational quotes, and space to write your own notes.
As a planner fanatic, I am pleased.
We have since been planning out every week and cut back on delivery to only twice a month—either for drunken nights or when friends come over for a casual. Of course the planner didn’t do all of this for us, but as planners often do, it definitely made everything WAY easier. Having a visual plan makes everything easy as clockwork. Not only that, but having a place specifically for meal planning versus being scattered among my other planner details was a change I didn’t even realize I needed.
Not only are we healthier in our eating habits, but when cooking in the kitchen, we make better use of our time together. As much as we enjoy sitting on the floor at the coffee table with delivery stir-fry or nachos while watching TV, cooking functions as an awesome decompression. The aromas and methodical preparation serve as a therapeutic cleansing of the day.
Oh, and we save a ton of money. In my opinion, that’s the next best thing to delivery food.